Monday, October 13, 2008

Lauderhill Charter Amendments

In addition to all the other items on the November ballot, the City of Lauderhill will have two groups of items to vote on. The first is the election for Commissioners in Seat 1 and 2. The other is the 5 Charter Amendments being presented to the residents.

Each of the Amendments went through the Charter Review Board. They presented to us several items, of which 5 were approved to vote on. Each of these items which the Board reviewed were at the request of one of the elected officials. They took the position of trying to present to the Commission what Commissioners requested to be submitted for a vote. Not all of the amendments were supported by Commissioners. Discussion on these Amendments can be seen on the June 13th posting on the "Notes of the Commission Meeting of June 9."

At the end of each item you will find eLauderhill News' recommendations.

The 5 items are:


1) Referendum Amending City Charter, Section 3.06, to Eliminate the Position of Deputy Vice Mayor.

Shall the City of Lauderhill amend its Charter, Section 3.06, to eliminate the position of deputy vice mayor, as more particularly described in Ordinance 08O-06-123.

_____ YES.
_____ NO.

Mayor Kaplan voted against this because of his belief that if the Mayor and Vice-Mayor was absent, the laws of the city do not provide who would run meetings and assume the responsibilities of the position. This in fact has happened several times in the past, and that is why the position was created.


2) Referendum Amending the City Charter, Section 3.03, to Provide City Commission Term Limits.

Shall the City of Lauderhill amend its Charter, Section 3.03, to provide terms limits for City Commissioners to serve no more than three (3) consecutive four-year terms, as more particularly described in Ordinance 08O-06-124.

_____ YES.
_____ NO.

While several Commissioners expressed that they do not support this, only Commissioner Berger voted against it. Those that did not support, but voted to place it on the ballot, felt that at a minimum the public should have a right to vote on this topic.


3) Referendum Amending City Charter to Create Section 1.04, Citizens’ Bill of Rights.

Shall the City of Lauderhill amend its Charter to create Section 1.04, the Citizens’ Bill of Rights as more particularly described in Ordinance 08O-06-125.

_____ YES.
_____ NO.

This item originally failed until an amendment to the item was approved on a 3-2 vote. The amendment required the Charter Amendment to show where each "Right" originates from. So that the public knows, just like Broward's Bill of Rights, THIS AMENDMENT CREATES NO NEW RIGHTS IN LAUDERHILL, but seeks now to only restate them in a manner that is more condensed. Unlike the US Bill of Rights that does create new rights not found anywhere else. These "Rights" originate from the Florida Constitution, Florida Law, or Lauderhill Charter already, and is listed in the full text of the Amendment.

The original objection was that by not showing where the rights originates from, it was misleading the public into thinking that new rights were being created. If this items fails, the Rights of Residents will remain exactly the same as they already exist.


4) Referendum Amending the City Charter, Section 3.08, Regarding Procedures for a Public Reprimand.

Shall the City amend its Charter, Section 3.08, to provide that a public reprimand be pursuant to ordinance(s), requiring a unanimous vote of the remaining members to approve, or as otherwise prescribed by State law, as more particularly described in Ordinance 08O-06-126.

_____ YES.
_____ NO.

The language in the ballot item is incorrectly stated, in that it left out that the Public Reprimand is only for Lauderhill Elected Officials. This was to address the loophole in the City Charter that prohibits Elected Officials from "Interfering with the Administration." Present law provides no penalty if they do. Originally, the language proposed was to create an option to remove the Elected Official that interferes. However, the consensus was to only provide for a Public Reprimand process. Commission Berger voted against this and did not support any penalties on first reading.

eLauderhill News RECOMMENDS FOR

5) Referendum Amending the City Charter, Section 3.04, Regarding the First Meeting for New City Commission.

Shall the City of Lauderhill amend its Charter, Section 3.04, to provide a procedure to determine the first meeting date for the new city commission, as more particularly described in Ordinance 08O-06-127.

______ YES.
______ NO.

Presently the Charter requires swearing in of newly elected officials to occur 3 days after the election, or upon certification of the election results, whichever occurs first. In the past, the results use to come in within a day or two. The city was informed that election results will no longer be available within the 3 days. In 2006, the results in a much smaller election took 7 days, and therefore caused a delay in the swearing in. It is expected that in the November election it could take even longer, up to 2 weeks possible.

To avoid the problem of when elected officials will be sworn in, the Amendment proposes to delay the swearing in for 2 weeks, which hopefully should be enough time for the Supervisor of Election to complete their certification process.

eLauderhill News RECOMMENDS FOR

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